Make the Perfect Meatballs
A classic spaghetti dinner just isn’t complete without meatballs. Whether you’re opting for classic ground beef, a leaner mix or even a vegetarian alternative, there has to be a source of protein served alongside your pasta. However, even the most skilled culinary academy graduate can succumb to some of the most common meatball blunders. Avoid a meatball massacre by following these tips:
Cook your meat properly: According to The Kitchn, lean meats like turkey or chicken can become tough when you cook them too long, while ground beef or pork will stay tender even if they’re cooked a little longer than needed. Be sure to adjust your cooking time according to the type of meat you use.
Consider bread instead of breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs add density to a meatball, while bread can make it fluffy. Use any type of bread, even those stale ends of your handy loaf, tear it into tiny pieces and pour a little milk on them before tossing them into your meat mix.
Add binders: Meatballs without seasonings, eggs or bread are just, well, balls of meat. How boring! Don’t forget to add some moist ingredients like milk or egg and some of your favorite herbs to give your meatballs a little pop of flavor.
Skip browning: Even if you’re tossing your meatballs into a pot of boiling pasta sauce or sticking them in a slow cooker, brown the outsides first. It just tastes better. Skipping this step will save you a mere five minutes that’ll later be spent thinking about how much better your meatballs would have tasted had you browned them.
Let your mix get warm: You don’t want the fat in the meat to melt before cooking. Mix your meatballs in a cold bowl, don’t let the meat come to room temperature and allow any warm ingredients to cool off before you mix them in.
Over roll: You have to roll your meat mix to form meatballs, obviously. But don’t go overboard on it! Rolling your meatballs too firmly can make them tough, even with the juiciest meat. Roll your meat lightly and oil your hands so the meat doesn’t stick to them. When laying them out on the pan, make sure each meatball is about the same size as the next to ensure they all cook thoroughly and none of them burn.